The Snapping Turtle on the Sidewalk

It remembers a time before roads,
an antediluvian time when you were
not here, not even a memory or
a scent of you on the water. It knows
you are here now, and roads, cars,
armored things ready to crush
armored things with hooked beaks
and spiked tails. It remembers, too,
that the swamp on the other side
might hold ducklings, frogs, some
soft, unarmored creatures that
make it a worthwhile venture,
this slow crossing in a fast world.

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